AI* of the month March: Pepijn van Teeffelen
Written by Abdullahi Ali
Oh boy... I present to you my second AI* interview this year and boy had I fun. I had the honor and pleasure to interview Pepijn van Teeffelen. A third year AI student, a member of several committees (including the deadly OrC) and the treasurer of the BoyCo! Pepijn is also the last member of the BoyCo to receive this honor. Strap yourself in for this ride. It is going to be quite the hype.
Before I set up things, I explain to Pepijn what he can expect during this interview. I also briefly mention that there is going to be a BoyCo bonus round. The hype is already real, but I quickly manage to calm Pepijn down. I start the interview.
Tell us something about yourself!
I’m Pepijn, (full name: Pepijn Pim van Teeffelen). I was born in Leiden. My father found work in Oosterhout, so we moved to Oosterhout where I’ve lived most of my life. I went to high school in Oosterhout. After graduating high school I went to Nijmegen to study Medicine. That didn’t really work out, so after a year I switched to Artificial Intelligence and also joined CognAC and Phocas. At CognAC I joined several committees (including the BoyCo hue hue hue).
Where do you live right now?
Currently, I live on the professor Huijbersstraat in Galgenveld where I have an SSH& room. Before that, I rented a room in Dukenburg from a man called Ton. Jeboi Ton had a great house but he lived alone and had a lot of spare rooms. I rented a room from him. It was pretty relaxed.
Pepijn then jokes about his relationship with Ton. I don’t think I have to write down his exact words. We drop some classic BoyCo/3C jokes and completely derail. After a while, I remember that I still have to ask him some questions and we get back on track.
Why did you decide to study AI and why here in Nijmegen?
I already lived in Nijmegen, and I liked Nijmegen so I really wanted to continue studying here. I first looked at Biology, since I liked biology in high school. I liked the study, but it isn’t that easy to find work as a biologist. I went to the Open Day and the professor literally said that Biology is a fantastic study, but you shouldn’t expect to find work. He then showed tables of how much a biologist would earn. Well, that didn't motivate me to study Biology.
Pepijn mentions something about Africa and antelopes and we briefly derail once more, but we get back on track. I must say that I’m partly responsible for this intermezzo. Africa and antelopes just trigger me.
Then I stumbled upon AI. I first didn’t think that programming and computers would be something for me, but I really liked the mix of psychology and computer science so I gave it a shot. And it turned out I really liked it.
You’re also a member of Phocas. Could you tell something about Phocas?
I joined Phocas in my first year at AI. Together with former AI students Wietze and Maarten. Maarten is an active benefactor at CognAC and Wietze is doing something. The first year was a lot of partying, drinking lots of beer and obviously rowing ;). The first year was awesome because I met a lot of new people. In my second year, I became a competition rower. That was the best year in my life. Every day felt like I was working towards a goal. Now I’m coaching a rowing team. This is a lot of work, but I really enjoy coaching.
What was your first thought about CognAC?
My first thought of CognAC was a bit negative. For example, I wasn’t really on the same page as my intro group. I wanted to party and they wanted to do more laid back things. I also felt that this was the vibe in CognAC in my first year. Geeky and laid back. But this changed as I became an active member, I got to know CognAC a bit better, and CognAC actually happened to be quite awesome. I also really like that CognAC is very open to everyone. Nobody is excluded. I think my image of study associations was a bit distorted because before CognAC I was a member of MFVN (study association for Medicine and Biomedical sciences), and they were more focused on parties.
Which committee was your first one?
The hype is real.
THE 1C. They still exist as the 3C nowadays. Most Deadly committee ever. Jake van Overbeek was the chairman. Brilliant. The 1C was fantastic, but we missed something called structure. In the end, we organized two activities. They weren’t really successful, but we had a lot of fun. We still exist and this committee will always be in my heart. The 1C was also my first group of friends at CognAC. The 1C was just perfect. The 1C’s after us may have been more successful, but we had more fun.
Which committees did you join after that?
The DAtA, OrC and WkC. I really like these committees. Shout out to Fabian for the way he’s chairing the OrC! The WkC is also an awesome committee. Bram is doing a great job! I also joined the BoyCo, which I cofounded in 2015 and of which I’m the treasurer.
Why these committees?
I joined the DAtA, because I enjoyed drinks and organizing drinks also seemed awesome. I joined the OrC and WkC for similar reasons. These committees just suit me.
Which committee is your favorite one (BOYCO EXCLUDED)?
The DAtA. I really like organizing drinks. The meetings are relaxed, it doesn’t take that much time and I also like my fellow committee members a lot. They’re mostly members of the 3C, which probably helps. Shout out to the 3C!
Do you have any hobbies?
Currently coaching at Phocas. But sports in general. I’ve always done a lot of sports. Swimming, football, tennis, ice skating, rowing, winter sports. I also like Netflixing, hanging out with friends, going out, wearing my BoyCo sweater and performing with the BoyCo. Probably contrary to the stereotypical CognAC’er, gaming is not one of my hobbies (except for super smash :D).
What kind of music do you like?
I really like top 40. People often don’t like my music taste, because they think that top 40 isn’t a music taste. It is just what I like, and people have to deal with that.
Do you have a fun fact about yourself that no one would expect to be true?
I totally don’t look like my parents, and my sister, and everybody else in my family haha. I have a bit more color. I often ask my parents where my true roots lie, but they just laugh it off. Kinda confused about my heritage now haha. Also, in high school, my nickname was mokka haha.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I really like dancing. When I’m in the shower I just put on music and start dancing.
What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Pepijn also mentioned How to Train your Dragon but that’s a Dreamworks movie. He gave me specific orders to mention How to Train your Dragon in this interview so here ya go Pepijn.
If you could travel for free to any place in this world, where would you go to first?
Egypt. My "father" once went to Egypt and he really liked it. His enthusiasm on Egypt rubbed off on me. The pyramids (and the fact that they might come from space #ancient aliens), the Nile. It all seems really fascinating. Africa, in general, attracts me (shout out to Appie and his family!). So I would first go to Africa and Egypt specifically.
If you had to describe yourself with just one word, which word would that be?
At this point, Pepijn thinks really hard. After a few seconds of deep introspection, he gave me the following answer and explanation:
Challenge. This may sound a bit weird, but the reason I chose this word is that I’m somebody who likes trying out new things and seeking out new challenges. If I have nothing to do, I just try out something new.
I knew it was time. Pepijn was looking at me, I was looking at Pepijn. I said “BoyCo?”, and Pepijn said, “BONUS ROUND, PLAY THE MUSIC”.
******* OH BOY. BOYCO BONUS ROUND #2 HAS ARRIVED ***********************
I announce the BoyCo bonus round. The hype is intense. After a few kakaa’s, jumping, flapping our wings, dancing, some more kakaa’s we’re calmed down and I ask my first question.
Besides being active for CognAC, you’re also a member of the iconic BoyCo. Could you tell about the BoyCo’s origin story?
Pepijn’s eyes twinkle.
It was so sweet. 28 June 2015 A.D., greatness happened. During the yearly barbecue of CognAC five members of the current 3C; Maarten Brandwijk, Wessel Hiesselaar, Pepijn van Teeffelen, Abdullahi Ali and Jake van Overbeek found each other. We were always very fond of dancing and singing, and whenever a song played that we liked, we started dancing and singing passionately together. Our moves were on point and our singing was heavenly. It was meant to be. On this day, the 28th of June 2015 A.D., we decided we had to take this to the next level. It was time to put CognAC on the map, time to create the hype that will ascend all planes of existence, it was time to create a movement so profound that even Jesse Klaver will notice, it was time that five gifted boys would go above and beyond for CognAC, it was time for the boy band that would outplay all the other boy bands out of existence, it was time for the BoyCo.
And henceforth, five unnaturally talented boys started singing and dancing and a boy band emerged...
The chairman of CognAC vividly remembers this moment and really wants this moment perfectly written down on paper so the Chief of External Affairs of the BoyCo asks the following question:
Could you describe the exact moment that the BoyCo came to existence?
We looked at each other and our minds became one. We then simultaneously screamed: ONE, TWO, THREE, BOYCOOOO!
Was the BoyCo always this famous?
No. Like all boy bands, we struggled in the beginning. We did quite well on parties because we had such unnatural chemistry, sick moves, and heavenly voices, but we truly acquired fame during the CognAC weekend 2016 (ps: CognAC weekend 2017, BoyCo will be back). Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there, but from what I’ve heard it was a fantastic performance. From that moment the BoyCo grew to unfathomed heights. However, the real hype, the real breakthrough, happened in the introduction 2016 during the cantus. Nobody was allowed to stand on the tables but at one point they started playing I Want It That Way. And suddenly, the BoyCo started floating in the air and we were put on the tables. We knew that this was meant to be and we immediately started performing. Oh good heavens, I will never forget this moment. Everybody started chanting “BoyCo!”, women cried and men came. It was a mix of emotions and chaos. You could call this Ascension Day. The introduction was fantastic. We performed every night and we got many applications(which we refused obviously). After the introduction, we had one solid performance at a constitution drink, which we couldn’t have pulled off without our Boyserves (shout out to Bram, Rik and Reinier!). But now we’re kinda on a hiatus. Just wait for CognAC weekend 2017. BoyCo will be back.
We contemplate our previous BoyCo day out, with highlights such as picking a fight with 14-year-old kids.
Obviously, the BoyCo is great and has many fans, but we also have haters. Anything to say to the haters?
Haters are usually just jealous. But then again, I can’t really blame them. I mean, five handsome boys embodying such greatness. Haters, if you want to hate us, so be it. We won’t return the favor. The BoyCo only preaches love.
Is the BoyCo working on any new songs?
CognAC weekend 2017. Wait for it.
Who is your favorite BoyCo member? *staring intensifies*
You cannot choose one BoyCo member. The BoyCo is basically five parts of one very sweet person. We are one, and that means that everybody is your favorite BoyCo member.
The Chairman of CognAC agrees passionately
Will BoyCo ever look for successors?
Difficult question. I think the BoyCo is forever and nothing can reach our gloriousness. But on the other hand, we won’t be here forever. You, Wessel and Jake, will finish your studies in about two or three years and I will leave in about a year after that and in six years Maarten will probably have finished something. I think we need to have a legacy for CognAC for the future. It won’t be the BoyCo but perhaps another boy band founded by the BoyCo. We can then be BoyCoaches.
We have a quick hype session after coming up with the name “BoyCoaches”.
The BoyCo bonus round ends. Pepijn is not happy, but this interview has to end. He ends with a shout out to the BoyCo.
What would be a suitable pet for CognAC?
I think a puppy would be a great pet for CognAC. CognAC’ers are sometimes a bit shy and a puppy could help bring them out of their shell. Also if you had a long day and you are bit cranky, a puppy is a really nice relieve.
Will CognAC stay in your heart forever (and especially the current Chairman)?
The Chairman will stay in my heart. Great guy and he’s extremely handsome. The funny thing with CognAC is, that I never thought I would say yes to this question. In the beginning, I saw CognAC as just a study association, but I really enjoy the activities, I really enjoy being active in committees and I’m also going to GMM’s now! I never thought I’d be this involved in CognAC and therefore, CognAC will always stay in my heart!
Do you have any closing remarks?
Shout out to the 26th board, shout out to the 27th board, shout out to the OrC, WkC, DAtA, shout out to the BoyCo!
Also, I really like the AI* interviews! Never get rid of them!
Shout out to CognAC! Shout out to Franc Grootjen!
Pepijn now really thinks hard about his final shout out, and after a few moments he ends the interview with:
Shout out to Appie!